Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963855 | Print ISBN: 9781412941860 | Online ISBN: 9781412963855| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Laboratory services form an essential component of health services. They share the same goal with all other components of health services, which is to promote health and to prevent disease. An important function of the laboratory services is to provide accurate laboratory tests. Laboratory tests are specific procedures that are conducted on patients or specimens obtained from patients to reveal information concerning their health status. These tests constitute a tool that contributes to provision of accurate information leading to proper diagnosis and correct identification of diseases, monitoring the treatment of patients and their response to it, investigating epidemics and the spread of infectious diseases, establishing a disease prognosis, and deciding disease prevention priorities. Laboratory tests can assist in answering important questions regarding the health of the individual such as what is cause of the disease? How severe is it? Was it correctly diagnosed? The role of laboratory tests as a ...